Daniela Mercury

Swing da Cor

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Don't be fooled by the 1997 date on this release; it's actually a reissue of Mercury's 1992 debut, Daniela, all dressed up with a fresh title, not a new disc. While it says that inside (one of the few things in the booklet -- if you're looking for credits, you're out of luck), there's nothing outside to indicate, other than the cheap front illustration. And, in truth, it was only put out again because of Mercury's growing status on the world music /Latin scene, not because of the record's merits. If that had been the case, it would have been a CD single, consisting of the title track, her first Brazilian hit, "Swing Da Cor," a wonderful collaboration with Olodum, the percussion group from her native city of Salavador which worked with Paul Simon. With crisp drums criss-crossing a samba-reggae rhythm, Mercury oozes class and originality on the song, quite definitely the voice of a star in the making. The problem, really, is the rest of the album, with its cheesy, dated synth sounds and paint-by-numbers songwriting that aim for the lowest common pop denominator. The miracle is that she was able to overcome such a mediocre start, and possibly only the thought of another "Swing Da Cor" kept her going. Glad she did continue, but, apart from the title cut, this album is strictly unnecessary.

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